- Apple still makes money off of ads, creating a conflict of interest. By default, users have a unique tracking/advertising ID attached to their phone.
- iOS is extremely restrictive, making certain privacy adjustments impossible.
Google has the same thing, and with apple if you care you can opt out.
"When Limit Ad Tracking is enabled on iOS 10 or later, the Advertising Identifier is replaced with a non-unique value of all zeros to prevent the serving of targeted ads. It is automatically reset to a new random identifier if you disable Limit Ad Tracking."
So this is a positive in apple's case over google privacy wise, not a negative against google.
"- iOS is extremely restrictive, making certain privacy adjustments impossible."
Generally you can't get unremovable malaware installed on an iphone you buy from apple. If this type of privacy restriction makes you choose android privacy invading phones - go for android. Many people like the locked down Apple setup.
Apple uses FUD to justify restricting users from doing what they want with their phone.
> If this type of privacy restriction makes you choose android privacy invading phones - go for android.
This is not what I’m talking about. I want to be able to use tools such as NetGuard to enhance privacy, which iOS doesn’t allow.
or is the play store sketchy? Where is the official repository of safe applications?
This is simply not true. iOS also allows "supervisor" apps (see MDM) that are extremely difficult to remove later, perhaps even more difficult than android.
I know because I used to work at company that did a kids protection app.
I'm not on Android any more, but (afair) you could reset the advertising ID, which in practice is not that different from only being able to disable it temporarily.
The UX makes a huge difference here, a feature is available in theory, but realistically speaking, inaccessible and annoying to the point of uselessness.
You are being tracked in multiple places, at the ISP level, at the geo level, cookie and account level, and I don't know where else.
Being able to reset your phone ID is insufficient given all the other ways you can be tracked.
With Apple, maybe they're the lesser of two evils, but there is still a lot of room they could improve if they really wanted.
The aforementioned iOS restrictions block you from being able to implement all the available privacy tools.
Being able to implement all those privacy controls is a double edged sword. There's a certain amount of security you get from not ever having root access. It depends on your threat model.
This is one of the paradoxes that exist with certain tracking protections that exist today. Eg. Enabling Do Not Track or fingerprint blocking could make you easier to track. Though these are becoming more ubiquitous, and therefore harder to use to track you, as browsers make them the default settings.
My understanding is that this tracking ID was a replacement for apps being able to obtain the devices serial number. The tracking ID is unique per developer (edit: not true, it is unique per device, so multiple devs can build a profile on you) and can be reset by the user at any time.
I use analytics in my company’s app and I get my team to send me their IDFA by downloading a free app from the App Store. The IDFA in my analytics is the same IDFA in the 3rd party app.
The IDFV is unique per developer; the IDFA is unique per device.
The device user can reset their IDFA at any time, and if the user disables ad tracking then the device returns 00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000.
Settings -> Privacy -> Advertising -> Reset Advertising Identifier...
Of course you never mentioned Android in your post, but I just want to point out that Android in no way is more hacker-friendly. As soon as you obtain root access half of apps will stop to be feature-complete because Google have SafetyNet and there is no way at all to make your own legit "hacker" apps trusted to use elevated privileges. How is your phone is useful if part of games wont work, streaming wont work, banking apps dont work, etc.
Of course they sell it under sauce of anti-malware and "security", but it's Android have anti-consumer DRM system that make your compromise between useful apps and whatever hacks you wish to apply. So not that much more useful compared to jailbroken iOS.
Of course there is. To circumvent this closed apple-esque bullshit you can just install magisk.
Magisk is never ending cat and mouse game and at any moment Google can just add some hardware-backed privileged rootkit that not going to be easy to bypass. So it's not always usable for every app out there.
The difference is that the good part of the community tries to unlock the platform's true potential instead of chanting "walled garden means safety" and "you don't actually have that use case".
And that part of the community has advanced tremendously. It's in the mindset.